Lakeland Ridge students explore an Outdoor Story Walk

Lakeland Ridge students explore an Outdoor Story Walk

Around the Division

Lakeland Ridge Students take Learning Outside
Before the snow came, students at Lakeland Ridge explored an Outdoor Story Walk in the school forest. Along their walk, they read from the book, “As Big as the Sky” by Leah Yardley and illustrated by Adam Blacksmith. At each stop, the students read a page and participated in movement activities from the book. Can you move your body like a winding river? Can you make yourself as big as the sky? The learning experience not only deepened students’ connection to the land outside of their school through the story, they also worked on their physical literacy. Students learned more about the story of the territories within Alberta through an Indigenous lens, and made personal connections to the story with their minds, bodies and hearts.

Westboro Elementary Students Create Video to Accompany Division Song, A Place Like This
A few years ago, Elder Wilson Bearhead and music specialists throughout the Division came together to thoughtfully and lovingly create a song that honours the land within the boundaries of Elk Island Public Schools.

“We’d like to give special credit to Elder Wilson Bearhead, for without his guidance, his sharing and his willingness to work with our teachers, this song would not exist. The audio recording included within the video is students from Westboro Elementary. The lyrics of this song (written in both Nakota and English) are sung as accurately as possible. True to the First Nations culture, we learned the Nakota words orally from Elder Wilson Bearhead. To assist with learning the proper pronunciation, you can listen to the sound clips provided by Elder Wilson Bearhead.”
- Courtney Richard, lead teacher in the project, Westboro Elementary

 The translation is as follows:

  • Verse 1 (Nakota): Love each other
  • Verse 2 (Nakota): Be there for each other
  • Verse 3 (Nakota): Have a kind heart
  • Verse 4 (English): Nowhere in the world has a place like this
  • Verse 4 (French): Nulle part peut on trouvé un tel endroit

In September 2019, Courtney Richard and Elder Wilson Bearhead travelled to Elk Island National Park, along with videographer Elizabeth Driedger, to capture footage to help tell the song’s story visually. Additional pictures and videos from across EIPS were provided to showcase the work EIPS staff and students are doing to strengthen reconciliation, and the learning that has and is taking place. The video aims to share, through visual means, a representation of the land where we all stand in Treaty 6 territory.
*Note: All pictures and videos were taken pre-COVID.

More Division Schools Create Project of Heart Murals
Lamont Elementary students and Grade 1 teacher, Sarah Janssen, created a beautiful permanent display to showcase the capstone project of their participation in the Project of Heart, which guides students to learn more about the history and legacy of residential schools.

Students at Win Ferguson Elementary also completed their Project of Heart display, choosing a turtle graphic created by the EIPS Communication Services team to showcase their learning tiles.

Upcoming Events

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Announces Imagine a Canada Contest
The Imagine a Canada 2021-22 program invites Canadian youth from kindergarten to Grade 12 to share their vision of what Canada will look like when we are reconciled.

  • Students in kindergarten to Grade 5 can submit an art piece, essay, song, video or other representation to express their thoughts and ideas. Selected pieces will be included in an art booklet showcasing the work and messages.
  • Older students in grades 6 to 12 are asked to submit project ideas that address reconciliation in their community or school. Projects for consideration can include such things as inviting Survivors, Elders or Knowledge Keepers to speak at a series of learning events; building a permanent art installation representing Reconciliation at the school; or supporting volunteer work in communities related to Reconciliation. Six projects from the older age group will receive $750 each, six will receive $1,000 each and three will receive $1,500 each. Additionally, these projects will also be recognized in an art booklet.

Winning youth from both streams will be invited to participate in a virtual leadership conference to learn from Elders, Survivors and Knowledge Keepers as well as attending a national celebration at the end of the school year. Deadline for all submissions is December 17. More information and submission forms can be found on the Imagine a Canada website.

Resources of Interest

  • Curious about the book Lakeland Ridge students explored outside? Listen to a reading of As Big as the Sky.
  • Want to learn more about Project of Heart? Explore what students from across Canada are doing to further their understanding of the history and legacy of residential schools. Included on the Project of Heart website is an article and video about Westboro Elementary (July 3, 2020). Many thanks to Courtney Richard for sharing with the world the story of how Westboro embarked on their learning journey.
  • The Métis Nation of Alberta’s education affiliate, Rupertsland Institute for Teaching and Learning, has created many resources for schools and families to learn about the histories, perspectives and culture of the Métis. The Rupertsland Education Community Connections (RECC) Room is an interactive, education-based website for young learners to engage with Métis-inspired materials and resources. Through the RECC Room, students, parents and educators have access to resources such as a Tutoring Community and Stories with Métis artists Leah Dorion and Angie Hall. To access all of these incredible learning opportunities, head to the RECC Room website, make an account, log in and enjoy! You can also see all of the tremendous opportunities for Métis students through their Facebook page.
  • One powerful project that was just shared is the collaborative storyboard mural and re-release of the book, Métis Memories of Residential Schools, A Testament to the Strength of the Métis. In a collaborative effort with respected Métis Elder Angie Crerar, author Jude D. Daniels, Canadian artist Lewis Lavoie, Rupertsland Institute and Werklund School of Education, this powerful resource was designed to acknowledge, highlight and share Métis residential school survivor experiences. Watch the recording of the virtual unveiling of the mural.